View Full Version : Re: Attention Lab Directors: do you have written policies andprocedures?

12-16-2008, 02:19 AM

Just to reiterate what was said by Hamid, I would reckon that burying
your head in the sand and pretending the risks are not present is an
unwise way of approaching, or not approaching, the matter.

A risk assessment that demonstrates that exposure to hazards is managed
in a manner that means that risk exposure is 'As Low as Reasonably
Possible' (ALARP) is definitely a preferable approach.

The risks are present whether you 'admit to having knowledge' of them or
not, and the fact that you have at least considered them and taken steps
prevent or to mitigate them goes some way towards showing that you are
taking reasonable precautionary steps in the context of your 'duty of

Best of luck,

John Tiernan BE MEngSc MIEI,
Chartered Engineer,
Senior Clinical Engineer,
Eastern Region Postural Management Service,
Enable Ireland,
Sandymount Avenue,
Dublin 4,

Tel. +353 1 2615926
Fax. +353 1 2695816

-----Original Message-----
From: Rassoulian H. [mailto:hamidr@SOTON.AC.UK]
Sent: 14 December 2008 22:21
Subject: Re: Attention Lab Directors: do you have written policies and

Interesting questions you posed in your posting. I am not aware of the
law in the US but if they are similar to Europe, which I think they are,
then you do need those policies and procedures just as you need to have
fire exits and signs that point to them.

You will also need a thorough risk assessment in place that is reviewed
and audited regularly just in the same way as you have your fire escapes
and fire fighting equipment inspected and updated regularly.

Negligence is when you have neglected your duty to put in place adequate
and appropriate policies, procedures and risk mitigation measures, not
the other way round.

If your lab carries any form of insurance then you need to have such
policies in place and I am surprised that in this day and age there are
some places that do not have it and more surprising that there are those
who think they should not have it!

Good Luck


Dr. H Rassoulian BSc, MSc, PhD, CSci, MIPEM, CEng, FIMechE
Clinical Scientist
Room CD134
Southampton General Hospital
Southampton SO16 6YD
Tel: +44 (0)23 80 79 69 45
Fax: +44 (0)23 80 79 41 17
Email1: HamidR@soton.ac.uk
Email2: Hamid.Rassoulian@suht.swest.nhs.uk
From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
[BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of Justus Ortega (Humboldt State
University, USA) [jdo1@HUMBOLDT.EDU]
Sent: 13 December 2008 16:15
Subject: [BIOMCH-L] Attention Lab Directors: do you have written
policies and procedures?

Dear colleagues,

Our department is in the process of developing a new locomotion
lab that will be used primarily for research and some basic community
services (locomotion kinematic and kinetic analysis, VO2 max and submax
testing). The equipment used in the lab includes force plates,
video kinematics, and EMG.

One of the concerns regarding the lab is the written policy and
that should be in place. Some members of the faculty feel it is critical
have written policies and procedures to keep subjects safe and protect
lab from issues of liability. Other feel that if you define policies
let's say, a cardiac emergency or falling on a treadmill that you are in
turn admitting to having knowledge of the risk and are making yourself
exposed to getting sued for negligence. Even others say that the IRB
informed consent process should take care of these liability issues.

I know I am not the first to have to have this "policy and procedures"
and I think it brings up an important ethical consideration of running a
research lab that uses human subjects. So, if any Biomech-L users can
me advice or have any sort of written examples of policy and procedures
would be willing to share I would greatly appreciate what you have to

Thank you for your time.


Justus Ortega, Ph.D.
Biomechanics Lab
Department of Kinesiology
Humboldt State University
Arcata, CA 95521
Telephone: (707) 826-4274
Fax: (707) 826- 5451